I remember my 1st day on placement as a 1st year and being absolutely nervous and excited about my adventure ahead of me! As a shy 18 year old fresh out of college without any care experience I had no clue what to expect in the world of nursing, I was prepared by Uni on how to do some nursing tasks but was nervous to put them to use. So I am here to give you some tips on how you can make the most out of your first placement and be prepared for it!
The first thing is to be prepared! So have your meals planned, have plenty of pens, fob watch etc… My essential item is a pocket notebook and I still have one on me as a newly qualified nurse to write down useful numbers, essential medications, things that I want to look up and further read! It will start to be your bible of knowledge over the next three years and beyond that!
When you find out your placement and it is time to contact them, prepare questions to ask them! Such as shifts, who your mentor is and is there anything you can read up on before you start and I know it will be hard to do this in covid times but if you can come in for a visit! This helped with me to have some knowledge were things are but even in covid times it is worth seeing how long it will take you to travel and if you need to sort parking out and also find were the ward/area you will be in!
On your first day it can be overwhelming, and everyone should understand that you wont know it all but do not be afraid to ask questions, if you do not understand we will not bite your head off and it will show that you are willing to learn and understand the environment around you. Make the most out of your learning opportunities!
When you have your initial interview discuss with your assessor what you would like to achieve on this placement and if there are any opportunities to work with the multi-disciplinary teams, such as: Clinical Nurse Specialists, Occupational therapists, Physiotherapists.
Spend some time with the healthcare assistants as they taught me so much in providing basic care to patients and showing me around the areas and also getting settled into the routine of the placement area! Make time for you whilst on your placement, so make sure on your days off you try and do some self-care whether that is reading a book, watching a film or walking something that makes you happy!
Enjoy your first placement and being out there in the world of nursing! If you need any advice I am always happy to help!